A number of communities across Massachusetts, including Boston, have cancelled school and issued snow emergency parking bans as the region prepares for its first winter storm of 2014, which is expected to drop up to 14 inches of snow on parts of the state.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for all of Massachusetts through Friday morning and predicts 8 to 10 inches of snow will fall on western and central parts of the state, with 10 to 14 inches expected for eastern parts.
The National Weather Service says light snow will develop early Thursday morning, with the worst of the storm hitting Thursday night into Friday morning, when snow will fall at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour and gusty winds will cause "near blizzard conditions."
"Heavy snow/gusty winds will result in dangerously low wind chills along with considerable blowing and drifting snow," the National Weather Service said. "Travel may become impossible."
A coastal flood watch was issued for three high tide cycles — Thursday afternoon, Thursday evening and Friday afternoon. The National Weather Service predicts minor coastal flooding along the eastern Massachusetts coastline, but warns it could become moderate during the Friday afternoon high tide.
The city of Boston issued a snow emergency parking ban, starting Thursday at noon, and cancelled school for Friday. Many other communities, including Somerville, cancelled classes both Thursday and Friday.
Meteorologist David Epstein says it will become increasingly cold as the storm moves out Friday.
"Friday will be one of the coldest days we have seen recently. Temperatures will not break the single numbers north and west of Boston and will stay in the lower and middle teens south of the city," Epstein said. "Saturday morning will be very cold with below zero readings in much of the area."